one free hour

I recently returned from a meeting in Los Angeles, where I was the sole planner and on my own in a strange, new city.  It was my first trip to LA.  My dilemma?  What should I do with the single, solitary hour I’d have all to myself?  Luckily, I have friends who’ve been to LA many times, and could recommend a few fun places to visit.

I’m not always so lucky.  That’s what makes HopStop such a nifty website.  It showcases a few big cities with public transportation options (LA isn’t one of them), and gives you ideas about places to go and things to see in your one free hour.  What makes it different from websites like CitySearch or MetroMix is that it incorporates the public transportation aspect with the “things to do” features these websites have.  It’s one-stop-shopping for the planner with one free hour.

You can use HopStop’s City Guide feature to find something fun to do, and then use its Trips feature to get you there using public transit.  Just plug in the location of where you’re staying and search for convenient restaurants or attractions.  Then get directions – enter the time you’ll be ready to embark on your expedition (say, 5:00 p.m. if your sessions end at 4:00), your preferred method of transport (walk, subway, bus, etc.), and click Get Directions to find out how to get there.  It couldn’t be simpler to use.

HopStop currently features Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.  They’re beta-testing the NY Metro North area, Long Island, and New Jersey right now.

Of course, you don’t just have to use this for your one free hour.  You can also research the destination city ahead of time, and publish some quick trips for your attendees, too.

Oh!  What did I end up doing in LA?  Unfortunately, George and Brad had other plans that night.  In the end, I spent my one free hour at the pool, which was delightful.

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